Abstract: Microstructure analysis of additively manufactured (AM) materials is an important step in understanding the interrelationship between mechanical properties and materials performance. Literature on the effect of a laser-based AM process parameters on the microstructure in the substrate-deposit interface is limited. The interface region, the adjoining area of substrate and deposit, is characterized by the presence of the fusion zone (FZ) and heat affected zone (HAZ) experiencing rapid thermal gyrations resulting in thermal induced transformations. Inconel 718 was utilized as a work material for both the substrate and deposit. Three blocks of Inconel 718 material were deposited by Direct Energy Deposition (DED) using three different laser powers, 550W, 750W and 950W, respectively. A coupled thermo-mechanical transient approach was utilized to correlate temperature history to the evolution of microstructure. Thermal history of the deposition process was monitored with the thermocouples installed inside the substrate material. Interface region of the blocks were analysed with Optical Microscopy (OM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) including electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique. Laser power was found to influence the dissolution of intermetallic precipitated phases in the substrate and grain growth in the interface region. Microstructure and thermal history data were utilized to draw conclusive comparisons between the investigated process parameters.
Abstract: The trend of autonomous vehicles is the future solution to road networks congestion in terms of their advanced ability to drive closer together and at higher speeds than humans can do safely. Infrastructure sector can drive the economic prosperity and provide a balance and inclusive growth of sustainable economy development. In this paper, the road infrastructure and the future development of electric car, self-driving of autonomous vehicles and the increasing demand of automated car parking system are critically revised and this paper aims to provide the insight and achieve better sustainable infrastructure and community in smart city.
Abstract: When public transportation projects were delivered through design-bid-build and later design-build, governments found a serious issue: inadequate funding. With population growth, governments began to develop new arrangements in which the private sectors were involved to cut the financial burden. This arrangement, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), has its own risks; however, performance outputs can motivate or discourage its use. On top of such output are time and budget, which can be affected by the type of project delivery methods. Project completion within or ahead of schedule as well as within or under budget is among any owner’s objectives. With a higher application of PPP in the highway industry in the US and insufficient research, the current study addresses the schedule and cost performance of PPP highway projects and determines which one outperforms the other. To meet this objective, after collecting performance data of all PPP projects, schedule growth and cost growth are calculated, and finally, statistical analysis is conducted to evaluate the PPP performance. The results show that PPP highway projects on average have saved time and cost; however, the main benefit is a faster delivery rather than an under-budget completion. This study can provide better insights to understand PPP highways’ performance and assist practitioners in applying PPP for transportation projects with the opportunity to save time and cost.
Abstract: Using effluent as a sustainable water resource for agriculture not only could provide part of water needs but also would save the existing water resources, durably. Vinasse, the effluent of ethanol alcohol factories, a by-product, which is derived from sugarcane molasses, is one of the water resources that could be effectively utilized for agricultural purposes. In the present study in order to investigate the application of different ratios of water: vinasse on germination and growth of barley seedlings an experiment was designed in pots with completely randomized design with three replications and control treatment. The consequences of four irrigation levels were studied with different water: effluent ratios (100% water, 90% water & 10% effluent, 75% water & 25% effluent, 50% water & 50% effluent) on germination and growth of barley seedling components in sandy-loam soil. The results showed that, with increasing the percentage of vinasse in the irrigation admixture, the germination percentage in barley seedlings decreased, significantly, so that the decrease in germination in comparison with the control samples in the second and third treatments was 20% and 93.33%, respectively. Seed germination percentage was about 46.66. The average stem length in seedlings was 14.3 mm and the average root length was 9.37 mm. The averages of the soils Electrical Conductivity (EC) and pH which were under irrigation with different ratios of vinasse (dSm-1) were 5.85 and 7.32, respectively, which showed a 76.2% increase in soil salinity.
Abstract: In an era when everything is increasingly digital, consumers are always looking for new options in solutions to their everyday needs. In this context, mobile apps are developing at an exponential pace. One of the fastest growing segments of mobile technologies is, obviously, e-commerce. It can be predicted that mobile commerce will record nearly three times the global growth of e-commerce across all platforms, which indicates its importance in the given segment. The current coronavirus pandemic is also changing many of the existing paradigms both socially, economically, and technologically, which has a major impact on changing consumer behavior and the emphasis on simplification and clarity of mobile solutions. This is the area that User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) designers deal with. Their task is to design a sufficiently attractive and interesting solution that will be available on all mobile devices and at the same time will be easy enough for the customer/visitor to get to the destination or to get the necessary information in a few clicks. The basis for changes in UX design can now be obtained not only through online analytical tools, but also through neuromarketing, especially in the case of mobile devices. The paper highlights possibilities for testing UX design applications on mobile devices using a special platform that combines a stationary eye camera (eye tracking) and facial analysis (facial coding).
Abstract: The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a continuous strategic monitoring model focused not only on financial issues but also on internal processes, patients/users, and learning and growth. Initially dedicated to business management, it currently serves organizations of other natures - such as hospitals. This paper presents a BSC designed for a Portuguese Acute Pain Unit (APU). This study is qualitative and based on the experience of collaborators at the APU. The management of APU is based on four perspectives – users, internal processes, learning and growth, and financial and legal. For each perspective, there were identified strategic objectives, critical factors, lead indicators and initiatives. The strategic map of the APU outlining sustained strategic relations among strategic objectives. This study contributes to the development of research in the health management area as it explores how organizational insufficiencies and inconsistencies in this particular case can be addressed, through the identification of critical factors, to clearly establish core outcomes and initiatives to set up.
Abstract: Chitosans, CSs, in solution are increasingly used in a range of geometric properties in various academic and industrial sectors, especially in the domain of pharmaceutical and biomedical engineering. In order to provide a tailoring guide of CSs to the applicants, gamma (γ)-irradiation technology and simple viscosity measurements have been used in this study. Accordingly, CS solid discs (0.5 cm thickness and 2.5 cm diameter) were exposed in air to Cobalt-60 (γ)-radiation, at room temperature and constant 50 kGy dose for different periods of exposer time (tγ). Diluted solutions of native and different irradiated CS were then prepared by dissolving 1.25 mg cm-3 of each polymer in 0.1 M NaCl/0.2 M CH3COOH. The single-concentration relative viscosity (ƞr) measurements were employed to obtain their intrinsic viscosity ([ƞ]) values and interrelated parameters, like: the molar mass (Mƞ), hydrodynamic radiuses (RH,ƞ), radius of gyration (RG,ƞ), and second virial coefficient (A2,ƞ) of CSs in the solution. The results show an exponential decrease of ƞr, [ƞ], Mƞ, RH,ƞ and RG,ƞ with increasing tγ. This suggests the influence of random chain-scission of CSs glycosidic bonds, with rate constant kr and kr-1 (lifetime τr ~ 0.017 min-1 and 57.14 min, respectively). The results also show an exponential decrease of A2ƞ with increasing tγ, which can be attributed to the growth of excluded volume effect in CS segments by tγ and, hence, better solution quality. The results are represented in following scaling laws as a tailoring guide to the applicants: RH,ƞ = 6.98 x 10-3 Mr0.65; RG,ƞ = 7.09 x 10-4 Mr0.83; A2,ƞ = 121.03 Mƞ,r-0.19.
Abstract: In view of the global population is increasing; it is the prime concern of government and community to diversify the dense population to regional area and maintain a healthy and sustained economic growth. This paper is to outline the interaction of different attributes which critically affect regional development, infrastructure and tourism. This research not only focused on the relation and interaction of regional development and associated infrastructure but also provides a holistic study and review of the ecosystem of regional development, infrastructure and tourism development. In this study, we will review the three aspects development and their interaction in different cities in Asia. The finding will demonstrate how those factors affect the ecosystem and sustainability and provide some insight and material for further review and discussion.
Abstract: Under the Paris Agreement 2015, the countries committed to address and combat the climate change and its negative impacts and agree to the target of reducing the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission substantially by limiting the global temperature to 2 0C above the pre-industrial level in this century. An international submit named “26th United Nations Climate Conference” (COP26) was held in Glasgow in 2021 with all committed countries agreed to finalize the outstanding element in Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 0C. In this paper, we will focus on the basic approach of waste strategy, recycling policy, circular economy strategy, net-zero strategy and sustainability strategy and the importance of the elements which affect the carbon emission, waste generation and energy conservation will be further reviewed with recommendation for future study.
Abstract: In the current technological market environment, ensuring the quality of new products has become a complex challenge. In this scenario, companies have been investing in solutions that aim to reduce the execution time of software testing and lead to cost efficiency. However, companies that have a complex and specialized testing environment usually face barriers related to costly testing processes, especially in distributed settings. Sidia Institute of Technology works on research and development for the Android platform for mobile devices in Latin America. As we work in a global software development (GSD) scope, we have faced barriers caused by failures detected lately that have caused delays in the homologation release process on Android projects. Thus, we adopt an Internal Review process, using as an alternative to reduce these failures. In this paper it was presented the experience of a homologation team adopting an Internal Review process in order to increase the performance through of improving test efficiency. Using this approach, it was possible to realize a substantial improvement in quality, reliability and timeliness of our deliveries. Through the quantitative analyses, it was possible identify a positive growth in homologation efficiency of 6% after adoption of the process. In addition, we performed a qualitative analysis from the collected data through an online questionnaire. In particular, results show that association between failure reduction and review process adoption provides the most quality that has a positive effect on project milestones. We hope this report can be helpful to other companies and the scientific community to improve their process thereby increasing competitive advantages.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper was to develop a policy and associated regulatory actions together with legislations that could help in sustainable energy development in Africa and Nigeria in particular. As a result of depletion of fossil fuels in most African countries, renewable energy options such as solar, wind and hydropower biomass are considered to be alternative sources in sustaining the energy security in the continent and particularly Nigeria. Corruption level is another factor that hinders economic growth and development in Nigeria. A review of the past literature on sustainable energy policy from Europe has been carried out. The countries investigated include: The United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and Finland. Their policies have been examined, and this helps suggest new policies on sustainable energy for Nigeria and Africa as a continent. The policies analyzed focused on incentives such as Feed-in-Tariff (FiT). Renewable energy sources potential and renewable have been investigated in Nigeria and that could help in formulating new sustainable energy policy for the country. Some of the proposed policies includes: Renewable Obligation (RO), Cogeneration, FiT, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), Renewable Integration, and Heat Entrepreneurship. These are some the new policies that could help sustain the energy security, reduce the level of poverty and corruption in Nigeria as well as Africa in general. If these policies are well designed and properly implemented as observed in this research, Nigeria can achieve sustainable energy and economic growth and development in the near future. Each proposed policy was assigned a timeframe for it to be achieved.
Abstract: Entrepreneurship is an essential source of economic growth and a prominent factor influencing socio-economic development. Entrepreneurship education educates and enhances entrepreneurial activity. This study aims to understand current trends in entrepreneurship education and evaluate the effectiveness of diverse entrepreneurship education programs. An increasing number of universities offer entrepreneurship education courses to create and successfully continue entrepreneurial ventures. Despite the prevalence of entrepreneurship education, research studies lack inconsistency about the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education to promote and develop entrepreneurship. Strategies to develop entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions among individuals are hindered by a lack of understanding of entrepreneurs' educational purposes, components, methodology, and resources required. Lack of adequate entrepreneurship education has been linked with low self-efficacy and lack of entrepreneurial intent. Moreover, in the age of digitisation and during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning platforms (e.g. online entrepreneurship education courses and programs) and other digital tools (e.g. digital game-based entrepreneurship education) have become more relevant to entrepreneurship education. This paper contributes to the continuation of academic literature in entrepreneurship education by evaluating and assessing current trends in entrepreneurship education programs, leading to better understanding to reduce gaps between entrepreneurial development requirements and higher education institutions.
Abstract: This study investigates the fiscal policy impact on countries’ economic growth in developing countries with a different external debt level. The fiscal policy effectiveness has been re-emphasized in the global financial crisis of 2008 with the external debt as its new contemporary driver. Different theories have proposed the economic consequence of fiscal policy, specifically for developing countries. However, fiscal policy literature is lacking research regarding the fiscal policy’s effectiveness with the external debt’s contributions through comprehensive study. Also, high levels of external debt will influence economic growth. Through foreign resources and channel of investment in which high level of debt decreases the amount of foreign investment in the developing countries. The finding of this study suggests that only countries with a low external debt level and appropriate fiscal policies and good quality institutions can gain the proper quantity and quality of foreign investors in which will help the economic growth. For this, this research is examining the impact of fiscal policy on developing countries' economic growth in the situation of different external debt levels.
Abstract: Diabetes disease that arises from the higher glucose level due to insulin shortage or insulin opposition in the human body has become a common disease in the world. No medicine can cure it completely. However, by taking medicine, maintaining diets, and having exercises regularly, a diabetes patient can keep his glucose level within the specified limits and in this way, he/she can lead a normal life like a healthy person. But to control glucose levels, a patient needs to monitor them regularly. Various techniques are being used over the last four decades. This modern review article aims to provide a comparative study report on various blood glucose monitoring techniques in a very concise and organized manner. The review mainly emphasizes working principles, cost, technology, sensors, measurement types, measurement accuracy, advantages, and disadvantages, etc. of various techniques and then compares among each other. Besides, the use of algorithms and simulators for the growth of this technology is also presented. Finally, current research trends of this measurement technology have also been discussed.
Abstract: The UK has strong economic growth, which attracts other countries to invest there through globalization. This research process will be based on quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis using interviews. The secondary analysis will involve a case study approach to understand the important aspects of leadership skills. The research outcomes will be identifying the strength and weakness of the leadership skills of UK automobile manufacturing enterprises and suggest the best practices adopted by the respective countries for better results.
Abstract: The wellbeing of urban dwellers is strongly associated with the quality and quantity of green infrastructure. Nevertheless, urban green infrastructure is still lagging in many Arab cities, and Jordan is no exception. The capital city of Jordan, Amman, is becoming more urban dense with limited green spaces. The unplanned urban growth in Amman has caused several environmental problems such as urban heat islands, air pollution and lack of green spaces. This study aims to investigate the most suitable drivers to leverage the implementation of urban green infrastructure in Jordan through qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative research includes an extensive literature review to discuss the most common drivers used internationally to promote urban green infrastructure implementation in the literature. The quantitative study employs a questionnaire survey to rank the suitability of each driver. Consultants, contractors and policymakers were invited to fill the research questionnaire according to their judgments and opinions. Relative Importance Index has been used to calculate the weighted average of all drivers and the Kruskal-Wallis test to check the degree of agreement among groups. This study finds that research participants agreed that indirect financial incentives (i.e., tax reductions, reduction in stormwater utility fee, reduction of interest rate, density bonus etc.) are the most effective incentive policy whilst granting sustainability certificate policy is the least effective driver to ensure widespread of UGI is elements in Jordan.
Abstract: Factors related to the growth of fashion and textile manufacturing in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are analyzed in this paper. Important factors associated with the growth of fashion and textile manufacturing in the SSA countries are being identified, underlined, and evaluated in this study. This research performed a SWOT analysis of the garment industries in the SSA region by exploring into various literature in the garment manufacturing and export data. SSA countries need to grow a lot in the fashion and textile manufacturing and export to come in par with the developments in the sector globally. Unlike the developing countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, the total export to the US, the EU and other parts of the world has declined. On the other hand, the total supply of fashion and textiles to the domestic market has been in rise. However, the local communities still need to rely on other countries to meet their demand. Import of cheaper clothes from countries like Bangladesh China and Vietnam is one of the main challenges local manufacturers are facing as it is very difficult to be competitive in pricing.
Abstract: Innovation and technology can be determinant factors to ensure agricultural and sustainable growth, as well as productivity gains. Technical change has contributed considerably to supply agricultural expansion in Brazil. This agricultural growth could be achieved by incorporating more land or capital. If capital is the main source of agricultural growth, it is possible to increase production per unit of land. The objective of this paper is to estimate: 1) total factor productivity (TFP), which is measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input; and 2) the land-saving effect (LSE) that is the amount of land required in the case that yield rate is constant over time. According to this study, from 1990 to 2019, it appears that 87% of Brazilian agriculture product growth comes from the gains of productivity; the remaining 13% comes from input growth. In the same period, the total LSE was roughly 400 Mha, which corresponds to 47% of the national territory. These effects reflect the greater efficiency of using productive factors, whose technical change has allowed an increase in the agricultural production based on productivity gains.
Abstract: Childhood obesity is an important clinical problem, because it may lead to chronic diseases during the adulthood period of the individual. Obesity is a metabolic disease associated with low-grade inflammation. The liver occurs at the center of metabolic pathways. Adropin, fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A are hepatokines. Due to the immense participation of the liver in glucose metabolism, these liver derived factors may be associated with insulin resistance (IR), which is a phenomenon discussed within the scope of obesity problems. The aim of this study is to determine the concentrations of adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A in childhood obesity, to point out possible differences between the obesity groups and to investigate possible associations among these three hepatokines in obese and morbid obese children. A total of 132 children were included in the study. Two obese groups were constituted. The groups were matched in terms of mean±SD values of ages. Body mass index values of the obese and morbid obese groups were 25.0±3.5 kg/m2 and 29.8±5.7 kg/m2, respectively. Anthropometric measurements including waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, and neck circumference were recorded. Informed consent forms were taken from the parents of the participants and the Ethics Committee of the institution approved the study protocol. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine biochemical tests including glucose- and lipid-related parameters were performed. Concentrations of the hepatokines (adropin, FGF-21, fetuin A) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Insulin resistance indices such as homeostasis model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment metabolic syndrome index as well as obesity indices such as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II index, and fat mass index were calculated using the previously derived formulas. Statistical evaluation of the study data as well as findings of the study were performed by SPSS for Windows. Statistical difference was accepted significant when p < 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found for insulin, triglyceride, high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of the groups. A significant increase was observed for FGF-21 concentrations in the morbid obese group. Higher adropin and fetuin A concentrations were observed in the same group in comparison with the values detected in the obese group (p > 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the ALT/AST values of the groups. In all of the remaining IR and obesity indices, significantly increased values were calculated for morbid obese children. Significant correlations were detected between HOMA-IR and each of the hepatokines. The highest one was the association with fetuin A (r = 0.373, p = 0.001). In conclusion, increased levels observed in adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A have shown that these hepatokines possess increasing potential going from the obese to morbid obese state. Out of the correlations found with IR index, the most affected hepatokine was fetuin A, the parameter possibly used as the indicator of the advanced obesity stage.
Abstract: Cereals are considered as a strategic product in human life and their demand is increasing with the growth of world population. Increasing wheat production is important for the country. One of the ways to solve the problem is to develop and implement new, environmentally and economically acceptable technologies. Such technologies include pre-sowing treatment of seed with a laser and associative nitrogen-fixing bacteria - Azospirillum brasilense. In the region there are the wheat varieties - Dika and Lomtagora, which are among the most common in Georgia. Dika is a frost-resistant wheat, with a high ability to adapt to the environment, resistant to falling and it is sown in highlands. Lomtagora 126 differs with its winter and drought resistance, and it has a great ability to germinate. Lomtagora is characterized by a strong root system and a high budding capacity. It is an early variety, fall-resistant, easy to thresh and suitable for mechanized harvesting with large and red grains. This paper presents some preliminary experimental results where a continuous CO2 laser with a power of 25-40 W was used to radiate grains at a flow rate of 10 and 15 cm/sec. The treatment was carried out on grains of the Triticum aestivum L. var. Lutescens (local variety name - Lomtagora 126), and Triticum carthlicum Nevski (local variety name - Dika). Here the grains were treated with A. brasilense isolate (108-109 CFU/ml), which was isolated from the rhizosphere of wheat. It was observed that the germination of the wheat was not significantly influenced by either laser or bacteria treatment. The results of our research show that combined treatment with laser and A. brasilense significantly influenced the germination of wheat. In the case of the Lomtagora 126 variety, grains were exposed to the beam on a speed of 10 cm/sec, only slightly improved the growth for 38-day seedlings, in case of exposition of grains with a speed of 15 cm/sec - by 23%. Treatment of seeds with A. brasilense in both exposed and non-exposed variants led to an improvement in the growth of seedlings, with A. brasilense alone - by 22%, and with combined treatment of grains - by 29%. In the case of the Dika variety, only exposure led to growth by 8-9%, and the combined treatment - by 10-15%, in comparison with the control variant. Superior effect on growth of seedlings of different varieties was achieved with the combinations of laser treatment on grains in a beam of 15 cm/sec (radiation power 30-40 W) and in addition of A. brasilense - nitrogen fixing bacteria. Therefore, this is a promising application of A. brasilense as active agents of bacterial fertilizers due to their ability of molecular nitrogen fixation in cereals in combination with laser irradiation: choosing a proper strain gives a good ability to colonize roots of agricultural crops, providing a high nitrogen-fixing ability and the ability to mobilize soil phosphorus, and laser treatment stimulates natural processes occurring in plant cells, will increase the yield.